Left Menu
Development News Edition

Democratic lawmakers to probe Trump's firing of State Dept watchdog

Reuters | Updated: 17-05-2020 01:13 IST | Created: 17-05-2020 01:03 IST
Democratic lawmakers to probe Trump's firing of State Dept watchdog
Trump, in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late Friday, said he no longer had confidence in Inspector General Steve Linick's ability to serve. Image Credit: ANI

Democrats in Congress on Saturday launched an investigation into President Donald Trump's firing of the State Department's internal watchdog, accusing the president of further escalating his fight against any oversight of his administration. Trump, in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late Friday, said he no longer had confidence in Inspector General Steve Linick's ability to serve. The letter did not specify a reason for the latest in a string of government watchdogs to be removed in recent weeks under the Republican president.

The Democratic-led House Foreign Relations Committee, along with colleagues in the Senate, in a statement questioned the timing and motivation of what they called an "unprecedented removal." "We unalterably oppose the politically-motivated firing of inspectors general and the President's gutting of these critical positions," wrote House panel chairman Eliot Engel and Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Republican-led Senate Foreign Relations panel.

Engel and Menendez called on the Trump administration to turn over any related documents by May 22. The two Democrats said it was their understanding that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally recommended Linick's firing because the inspector general "had opened an investigation into wrongdoing by Secretary Pompeo himself."

Representatives for the White House and the department could not be immediately reached for comment on the probe. Linick, appointed to the role in 2013 under the Obama administration, is the fourth inspector general fired by Trump since early April following his February acquittal by the Republican-led Senate in his impeachment trial.

Pelosi described the ousting as an acceleration of a "dangerous pattern of retaliation." The U.S. Department of State later said Stephen Akard, the director of the Office of Foreign Missions, would replace Linick.

In April, Trump removed a top coronavirus watchdog, Glenn Fine, who was to oversee the government's COVID-19 financial relief response. He also notified Congress that he was firing the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, who was involved in the triggering the impeachment investigation. Earlier in May, Trump ousted Christi Grimm, who led the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) after accusing her of having produced a "fake dossier" on American hospitals suffering shortages on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"Trump is methodically eliminating anyone who would bring wrongdoing to light," Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel, tweeted.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

COVID-19: Weighing up the benefits and limitations of edtech platforms

Edtech companies shouldnt focus on merely pushing contents, but to provide an interactive, effective teaching and learning environment. ...

Videos

Latest News

Reliance Foundation Young Champs conferred two-star academy status by AFC

The Reliance Foundation Young Champs RFYC academy has been conferred two-star academy status by the Asian Football Confederation AFC. The recognition was confirmed by AFC general secretary Dato Windsor John in a communication to the All I...

Robust health infrastructure important to ensure healthcare facility to all: Rajasthan minister

Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Saturday said a robust health infrastructure is important in ensuring healthcare facility to everyone. Looking at the demographics of the state and the increasing population, it is a challenging tas...

NC leader expresses concern over Pak shelling, seeks early completion of community bunkers

Senior National Conference NC leader Devender Singh Rana on Saturday expressed concerns over the intermittent and unprovoked shelling by Pakistan along the Line of Control LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, and sought speedy completion of undergroun...

Fadnavis releases book on PM's Rs 20 lakh crore package

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday released a book penned by him on the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra ModiThe book, titled Atmanirbhar Maharashtra-Atmanirbhar Bharat, analyses the package which...

Give Feedback